A recent report by Statista highlighted that e-commerce sales are set to projected revenue of 4.5 trillion in 2021 July 6, 2019, 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. You’re reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media. E-commerce websites have seen an immense in
crease in the last decade. However, they have seen even greater success with the launch of mobile apps. Building an app is not the only important thing. Introducing new features and ensuring that they are up to date with the latest technology, holds more significance. The main reason why apps perform better than websites is personalization. And retail apps are one of the top 4 most frequently surfed apps on customers’ devices. Plus, the first half of the year 2019 has seen that 62per cent of smartphone owners use mobile apps mostly for purchases. As technology evolves, user interfaces and user experience also goes up a notch higher. Mobile apps are easier to use and form a direct link between brands and customers. As a result, more engagement enables generating better leads. Why Mobile Apps are Critical for E-commerce Stores Preferred Option ThinkWithGoogle has done an analysis. It indicates that when users want to shop for a product, they first perform a quick search on their phones. And only after checking prices they would approach a local store. It offers convenience and better shopping experience for them. They can compare prices of brands and even check reviews and ratings. Hence, building a mobile app would not only generate revenues. It would help the e-commerce stores get clarity of current market and consumer behaviour, resulting in forming better market strategies. Better Engagement Mobile apps are highly personalized and it eventually provides better engagement with the customers. Brands can track browser history, earlier products they have purchased, and provide suggestions based on it. Apps work on consumer behaviour. Apart from that, apps have better navigation experience and are less clumsier than websites. They also store transaction history, delivery addresses – making purchases easier. It comes as no shock that almost 50per cent of traffic comes from mobile apps. Customer Retention Statistics have shown that if an app offers a bad first experience, almost 34per cent of customers would leave it for another brand. However, if a user downloads an app from a brand; that means they have more interest in that brand. The reason behind this switch is the user thinks another brand provides a better experience. There are so many apps that get downloaded but sit idle on the phones. The users who have downloaded a brand’s app talks a lot about retention. They are more likely to use that app than the ones who don’t download. Additionally, customers browse on apps more than the sites. Customers make larger purchases while buying through an app. This results in increased sales and repeat-purchases too. Reduced Cart Abandonment Cart abandonment can be termed as the biggest competitor for a business. However, an average of 70per cent of customers leaves their shopping carts even before purchasing anything. Though there are people who would be just browsing products and not ready to buy. Other reasons mostly include high shipping/extra costs, account creation, slow processes, fewer payment options. All these are usually termed as a bad shopping experience. These experiences can be easily improved by creating a great mobile app design. The optimization of checkout forms can help in reducing this rate by up to 20per cent. Strengthened Brand Customers are a huge source of getting a brand recognized. Mobile apps can be the driving force behind spreading brand awareness amongst them. Compared to websites, customers spend almost 27per cent more time on mobile apps. To attract them, brands introduce various discounts and flash sales in their marketing strategy. Apps can strengthen this strategy by sending push-notifications for the discounts available. It can also help in increasing downloads and installs. Other in-built features like navigation control, voice assistance prove beneficial for strengthening the brand. Apps are also integrated with various social media channels. Brands and marketers can track users’ interaction, preferences, buying habits. Knowing your customers would provide important data about them, eventually leading up to offering better services that meet their demands. Continuous customer satisfaction helps in building a loyal base, staying in touch; resulting in generating higher sales. Secured and Simple Security is perhaps the biggest concern for customers while shopping online. Websites have long checkout procedures and sometimes the transaction also gets declined. This leaves customers vulnerable to many security threats. Mobile apps, on the other hand, have a multi-layer security plan. Third-party integration with Google Pay, Debit./Credit cards, Net Banking, and other e-wallets in the apps make the transactions much safer. Payment options once filled in, checkouts become faster without entering the details again. The intuitive User Interface results in providing a highly convenient and flexible user experience. E-commerce apps have gained the highest revenues and the reason is 54per cent increase in the user sessions. Apps are convenient than websites, as they are easily available on Android and Apple stores. Plus, they are not dependent on browser features, unlike websites. Mobile biometrics, experience and customer-centric, make shopping more interactive and fun. Marketing Is As Important as Building an App Mobile app development doesn’t stop after it has been made available for download. Creation of accounts to make them long-term customers is the next important step. Cost-per-Action (CPA) is a marketing campaign that enables marketers to pay only for those users who want to engage further. Users tend to forget using an app after downloading. CPA ensures that the money is only going towards driving real conversions. Ending Notes Developing a mobile app for your e-commerce store is the starting point of an immersive and interactive relationship with your customer base. Apps are heavily based on deep analytics that helps in monitoring consumer behaviour. It eventually benefits an e-commerce business in maximizing revenues by increasing sales. Hence, the end goal should always be to offer a customized and convenient shopping experience – irrespective of the device. Almost 78per cent of customers prefer browsing a mobile app over a browser. Plus, they can be accessed anywhere, anytime, and even offline. Hence, a mobile app acts as a connecting link across all channels; offering an intuitive user experience.